Archive for battlefield leadership

Leadership That Is McChrystal Clear

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2013 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

When a military leader hangs up his combat boots after a long and successful career, I always hope that they plan to share their experiences, wisdom and leadership philosophies in the pages of a book.  It has become commonplace in the last two decades for a military officer who has been successful on the battlefield to write a book about their life in uniform (Schwarzkopf, Franks, Powell).  And, throughout history, we have been fortunate to learn a lot about our greatest, most storied Generals and Admirals (Washington, Grant, Lee, Halsey, Nimitz, Eisenhower, Patton, MacArthur, etc.) through their own writing and words, and those of historians, biographers, authors, and bloggers who have determined that learning and discussing what made these military officers great leaders is valuable knowledge to current and future leaders and scholars.  You can find an assortment of these books on the internet.

General Stanley McChrystal (U.S. Army Retired) has written a memoir entitled, “My Share of the Task,” adding to the list of many great military leaders whose life in uniform has been chronicled.  Stanley McChrystal retired in July 2010 as a four-star General in the U.S. Army.  His last assignment was as the commander of the International Security Assistance Force and as the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.  He had previously served as the direc­tor of the Joint Staff and as the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command.  He is currently a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and the co-founder of the McChrystal Group, a leadership consulting firm.

I have yet to add McChrystal’s book to my bookshelf, so this post is not a review or endorsement of it.  I absolutely intend on grabbing a copy of his book very soon.  Instead, this post is to highlight his leadership philosophy and wisdom that allowed him to climb the ranks of the United States Army to become a Four-Star General.  While most people are focusing more attention on how his career came to an abrupt end following a Rolling Stone article in 2010, I would prefer discussing his leadership.  I think each of us can learn a lot from this warrior, statesman and scholar.

A one-of-a-kind commander with remarkable record of achievement, General Stanley McChrystal is widely praised for creating a revolution in warfare that fused intelligence and operations.  He stresses a uniquely inclusive leadership model focused on building teams capable of relentless pursuit of results. When old systems fall short, McChrystal believes true leaders must look for ways to innovate and change.  From his extraordinary career, McChrystal reveals a four-star management strategy, stressing openness, teamwork, and forward-thinking.

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General McChrystal is the co-founder of the McChrystal Group.  From his time as a commanding general, he revolutionized key leadership principles such as transparency and inclusion; leveraging the power of teams through shared ownership; and sharing a clear vision for winning with an extended team.

He, along with his team at The McChrystal Group, have developed a program called the CrossLead Way.  The principles and operational structure of CrossLead are based on the exceptional military leadership successes of the General and his staff.  The principles of CrossLead are:

1. Trust

Build a foundation of relationships based on trust and teamwork.

2. Understand
Understand the operating environment and your organization while constantly adapting for purpose.

3. Align
Align the team around a clearly defined vision, set of values and an achievable and resilient strategy.

4. Communicate
Force and foster a culture of inclusion, transparency, and accountability through constant communication.

5. Decide
Create shared ownership by decentralizing decision-making and execution to the most effective level.

6. Discipline
Ruthlessly prioritize, maintain a disciplined and sustainable battle rhythm, and focus on what only you can affect.

7. Win
Accomplish your objectives. Succeed constantly by relentlessly assessing and improving performance. Win.

From these principles, the McChrystal Group believes that the collective wisdom of an organization is it’s most valuable resource – that trust, speed and discipline are decisive – that leaders are made and leadership is a choice.  Most importantly, we believe in winning in any environment.

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Since General McChrystal’s retirement, he has shared what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military as a public speaker and lecturer.  His overall leadership premise is how can you build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets?  His answer is by listening and learning — and addressing the possibility of failure.  This blog has featured General McChrystal in the past, but I wanted to again highlight some of the key points General McChrystal emphasizes in his presentations to groups, organizations, companies and students:

1) If your people do everything you taught them to do, and they do those things properly, you led them well. People follow leaders.

2) Leaders can let you fail, and yet not let you be a failure.

3) Leaders build confidence and trust in their people. And, those who you are leading have to have faith and trust in the leader. Leaders have to build faith, trust and confidence.

4) In failure, the leader must reach out to his force and rebuild trust and confidence…rebuilt confidence in the force, rebuilt confidence in the leader, and rebuilt confidence in the seniors of the leader and the force.

5) A leader must build consensus and a sense of shared purpose with his force.

6) How does a leader stay credible and legitimate when they haven’t done what the people their leading are doing? Leaders must become more transparent and a lot more willing to listen.

7) Keep your promises and live up to your obligations; to your subordinates, your peers and your superiors. Be ready to support them when they need you most.

8) A leader isn’t good because he is right. They’re good because their willing to learn, and to trust. If you are a leader, the people you’ve counted on will help you out. And, if you’re a leader, the people who count on you need you on your feet.

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Unfortunately, General McChrystal’s career ended sooner than he or anyone anticipated, but in no way short of victory.  As with any abrupt departure of a high-profile military leader due to controversy, scandal or integrity issues, we should always look at what that person did in their career in total; the quality of the individual, and the successes they achieved.  General McChrystal dedicated 34 years of his life to the United States Army, and his leadership, warrior spirit and patriotism, without question, is what makes him one of the great military leaders of our time.  The military prematurely lost this officer, but the private sector has gained a gem in McChrystal (to use a bit of a pun).  We now become the new benefactors of his teachings, wisdom and philosophy.  Through his new book, we can see inside this man and the principles that have made him successful. , beyond the controversy of the Rolling Stone article back in 2010.  As I said earlier, I intend on purchasing his book, and I think you should too.

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson

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Related Articles –

McChrystal Speaks Out on Rolling Stone Article (foxnews.com)

General Stanley McChrystal: Leadership Lessons from Afghanistan (Forbes.com)

Stan McChrystal: Trading Shadows for Showtime with accompanying video Q & A With General Stanley McChrystal (time.com)

‘I Accept Responsibility’: McChrystal On His ‘Share Of The Task’ (npr.org)

Gen. McChrystal’s Lessons in Leadership

(cnbc.com)

[Video] Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal on Leadership (youtube.com)

Sources –

Plywood Leadership: Lessons on Leadership from a Warrior, Statesman and Scholar – Accessed 13 January 2013 – Association for Corporate Growth (ACG Global) – http://www.acg.org/

CrossLead Way – Accessed 13 January 2013 – McChrystal Group – http://www.mcchrystalgroup.com/home

Listen, Learn…Then Lead – Accessed 13 January 2013 – Command Performance Leadership blog – https://commandperformanceleadership.wordpress.com/

Photo Credits –

Book cover and profile picture – The McChrystal Group via http://www.mcchrystalgroup.com/home – Accessed 13 January 2013

Stanley McChrystal: Listen, Learn…Then Lead – http://images.ted.com/images/ted/1e1176d6968f6b244a1962d6231a5410fa7d8ef9_389x292.jpg – Ted.com – Accessed 13 January 2013

Courageous Confidence

Posted in Leadership, Quote of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

“Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking.”[i]

Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch

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Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch

During World War I, in 1914, Field Marshal Foch was selected to command France’s newly formed Ninth Army during the First Battle of the Marne.  Only a week after taking command, with the whole French Army in full retreat, he was forced to fight a series of defensive actions to prevent a German breakthrough.  Foch pushed the Germans back across the Marne, and on 12 September he regained the Marne at Châlons, liberated the city.  His counter-attack was an implementation of the theories he had developed during his staff college days, and it succeeded in stopping the German advance.  Field Marshal Foch is said to have declared the words quoted above during the advance at the marshes in St.-Gond.  These words were seen as a symbol both of Foch’s leadership and of French determination to resist the invader at any cost.

Throughout our life, we face many challenges that we never envisioned we would have to face.  At times, they come as a complete surprise.  Our education and experience do not always prepare us for these encounters, although it would be convenient and helpful.  You can never be prepared for every situation and circumstance.  But, life experiences provides us building blocks to develop many of the core values and qualities that lead to success that are necessary to function, grow and survive.  These experiences influence our behavior, attributes and personality, as well as the actions we take and the decisions we make.  From this, we are able to act courageously, and with confidence, when we are consumed by overwhelming circumstances that seem insurmountable.

Field Marshal Foch faced such a situation during World War One at the first Battle of the Marne.  He was not deterred, nor did he back down.  He was never intimidated, and he took appropriate and courageous action.  His words seem almost blithe in the face of danger and uncertainty.  He wasn’t trying to defy the reality of the situation, nor was he trying to deceive his superiors about the complexities, dangers and realities on the ground.  He was merely expressing confidence that his Ninth Army were capable to adapt to the unfavorable conditions, against all odds.  He knew the strength of his soldiers, and he had faith in them.  He knew that they were capable of accomplishing the objective; pushing the Germans back across the Marne.  He knew he had to take certain risks, and he was driven and determined to achieve victory.

Ferdinand Foch knew what kind of person it would take to size up a situation and make a decision.  He knew that indecisiveness is a weakness.  He knew that it would take a leader who is unwavering, determined and courageous.  From his book, Precepts and Judgments, Foch wrote the following:

When the moment arrives for taking decisions, facing responsibilities, entering upon sacrifices — decisions which ought to be taken before they are imposed, responsibilities which ought to be welcomed, for the initiative must be secured and the offensive launched — where should we find a man equal to these uncertain and dangerous tasks were it not among men of a superior stamp, men eager for responsibilities? He must indeed be a man who, being deeply imbued with a will to conquer, shall derive from that will (as well as from a clear perception of the only means that lead to victory) the strength to make an unwavering use of the most formidable rights, to approach with courage all difficulties and all sacrifices, to risk everything; even honour [sic] — for a beaten general is disgraced for ever [sic].[ii]

Courage and fear are perhaps the most natural of the human dimensions of combat.  With courageous confidence as Field Marshal Foch’s beacon of example, the French Ninth Army instinctively followed his lead, in spite of any fear they may have had.  Leading by example, and the willingness of Foch to show a demonstrable acceptance of risk and sacrifice drew his soldiers to do their duty and fight.[iii]

Obviously, in our daily lives, we are not going to find ourselves in a position to fight an army of thousands, nor are we going to make life or death decisions.  But, there will come a time when we will have to face a tremendous challenge, and we will need to make hard decisions.  When that time comes, it will be essential to have courage and confidence.  Your power of influence, demonstrating bold leadership and poise in the face of adversity, will establish trust, loyalty and support among your people and superiors.

I’ll leave you with another poignant quote from Field Marshal Foch on the execution of a plan:

The fundamental qualities for good execution of a plan is first; intelligence; then discernment and judgement, which enables one to recognize the best method as to attain it; the singleness of purpose; and, lastly, what is most essential of all, will – stubborn will.


 

 

Footnotes –

[i] Message to Marshal Joseph Joffre during the First Battle of the Marne (8 September 1914), as quoted in Foch : Le Vainqueur de la Guerre (1919) by Raymond Recouly, Ch. 6

[ii] Precepts and Judgments. Ferdinand Foch, Hilaire Belloc, and A. Grasset. New York: H. Holt and, 1920. p. 139-140. Google eBook. Electronically Published / Digitized 09 Oct. 2008. Web. Date Accessed on 08 Nov. 2012. http://books.google.com/books?id=VkYuAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0

[iii] Inspired by the writing in the book, Leadership: The Warrior’s Art. Christopher D. Kolenda, Barry R. McCaffrey, and Walter F. Ulmer. Carlisle, PA: Army War College Foundation, 2001. Chapter Two, Teaching Combat Leadership at West Point: Closing the Gap between Expectation and Experience, by Charles F. Brower, IV and Gregory J. Dardis. p. 32-33. Google eBook. Stackpole Books, 2001. Web. Date Accessed on 08 Nov. 2012. http://books.google.com/books?id=F57e_IYaHn8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0


Sources and Recommended Content –

Ferdinand Foch – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Foch – Last Modified on 8 November 2012 – Accessed 8 November 2012 – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/

Ferdinand Foch – Wikiquote – http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Foch – Last Modified on 4 July 2012 – Accessed 8 November 2012 – Wikiquote – http://en.wikiquote.org/

World War I: Marshal Ferdinand Foch – By Kennedy Hickman – About.com Military History – Accessed 8 November 2012 – About.com – http://about.com/

Ferdinand Foch – Encyclopedia Britannica – http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/211837/Ferdinand-Foch – Accessed 8 November 2012 – Encyclopedia Britannica – http://www.britannica.com/

Unjustly Accused: Marshal Ferdinand Foch and the French ‘Cult of the Offensive’ – Feature Articles – http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/foch.htm – Posted Saturday, 22 August 2009 – Accessed 8 November 2012 – Firstworldwar.com – http://www.firstworldwar.com/

The First Battle of the Marne, 1914 – Battles: The Western Front – http://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/marne1.htm – Posted Saturday, 22 August, 2009 – Accessed 8 November 2012 – Firstworldwar.com – http://www.firstworldwar.com/

Execution Is Key: Getting Beyond The Plan (theentrepreneurinheelsblog.wordpress.com)

The Winds of Courage Will Push Us Forward

Posted in Miscellaneous, Pithy Points to Ponder with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

A tattered flag flies over the Union this morning.  It is split right down the middle, from its blue field of stars to the red stripes that would typically tie us together.  The winds of the storm may have taken us in another direction; but only temporarily.  We must trice up and move forward.  Be prepared to face the challenges ahead, and do not falter.  It shall be the winds of courage that move us in the direction we must go.  There will be no retreat.  Guided by faith, we will march toward a victory that today may seem so far away.  Fight on!  As an American, I will expect nothing less of you.

The Navy SEAL’s Way to Business Leadership Success

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Recently, I came across a three part article series entitled, “From the Battlefield to the Boardroom: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Business Leadership Success,” on Forbes.com.  These articles were written by Brent Gleeson, a former Navy SEAL and a cast member on NBC’s new reality super show “Stars Earn Stripes.”  Brent’s articles are another example of how military experience and leadership are invaluable when applied to business.

I find Brent’s articles to be quite informative and educational, and I wanted to bring all three articles to you.  In his articles, Brent discusses training, planning, communication, teamwork, managing in a chaotic environment, recruiting great talent & hiring great leaders, and successful leadership traits, among other topics taken directly from his Navy SEAL training and experience.  What is discussed in these articles translates nicely to a business environment.  It is Brent’s thesis that it would be beneficial to any organization to put these critical lessons learned on the battlefield into action in the workplace.  Additionally, he emphasises the importance and value of hiring veterans because of their leadership ability and the skills they’ve gained as members of the United States military.  In these three articles, Brent lays out the battle plan that will make business successful, profitable and victorious.

Below, I present abstracts and links to each of the three articles.

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From the Battlefield to the Boardroom: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Business Leadership Success

Six Aspects of Military Leadership Critical to Building a Successful Business and Developing a Driven Team (Part 1 of 3)

  1. Mission Communication
  2. Mission Planning
  3. Mission Team
  4. Mission Structure
  5. Mission Debrief
  6. Mission Training

Continue reading “From the Battlefield to the Boardroom: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Business Leadership Success (Part 1 of 3)” via Forbes.com HERE

Managing in a Chaotic Environment – Building a Team In the Midst of Chaos:  Forging SEAL Leadership (Part 2 of 3)

Originally, Part 2 was going to focus on strategic planning but I thought it would be more appropriate to discuss team building first and address that important topic later.  In this post, I will focus on building the team and managing in a chaotic environment. Most of my readers will probably never serve in the military or be in a combat situation, but we all deal with our own chaotic environments every day. In business, this could be a brand crisis, employee turnover, economic issues, or even externalities that mentally affect your staff. It’s essential that leaders know how to successfully guide their teams through these situations.

There is no better time to have a strong unified team than amidst chaos. That’s the basic principle of the Navy SEAL training program.  Before we can manage a strong team within our organizations, we must build one.

Continue reading “From the Battlefield to the Boardroom: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Business Leadership Success (Part 2 of 3)” via Forbes.com HERE

Identifying Great Leaders (Part 3 of 3)

The Result of War

Having been at war for more than a decade now, it is inevitable that the U.S. workplace has been, and will continue to be, flooded with men and women leaving the military.  This consistent wave of military veterans entering the workforce is a great opportunity for any organization looking for leaders.

Military men and women are taught leadership skills from their first days in service.  In Part 2, I wrote about SEAL training’s brutal Hell Week and how it teaches the students to immediately learn how to lead under pressure and amidst chaos.  In the SEAL teams, both Officer and Enlisted team members are given incredible amounts of responsibility during training as well as in combat.

Continue reading “From the Battlefield to the Boardroom: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Business Leadership Success (Part 3 of 3)” via Forbes.com HERE

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About the Author –

Brent Gleeson spent five years in the Unites States Navy as a Navy SEAL.  During his service he completed several combat deployments to Iraq and Africa in support of the War on Terror.  His team’s primary objective was running capture or kill missions working in conjunction with the CIA.  Since leaving the Navy, Mr. Gleeson has become a serial entrepreneur that is passionate about leadership, building companies, and fostering positive change in his community and beyond.  As co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Internet Marketing Inc. (IMI) it is Mr. Gleeson’s primary focus to oversee brand development and marketing strategies.  As co-founder and one of the primary owners, Mr. Gleeson also leads strategic planning initiatives and recruitment.  Internet Marketing Inc. is currently one of the fastest growing integrated online marketing agencies in the country and is headquartered in San Diego, CA. with offices in Las Vegas, NV and Miami, FL.

Mr. Gleason earned his undergraduate degree in Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University, studied at Oxford University in England, and earned master degree in real estate finance and development from the University of San Diego.

Brent is also an accomplished public speaker with topics ranging from entrepreneurship and team building to integrated online marketing strategies for growing businesses.

You can follow him on Twitter at @BrentGleeson.

Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part Five)

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Yesterday, I posted part four of this series.  I encourage you to read Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part Four).

From an article in Business Insider entitled “33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life.”

UNCONVENTIONAL (DIRTY) WARFAREUNCONVENTIONAL (DIRTY) WARFARE

The following 11 strategies will give a greater understanding of the diabolical psychology involved in dirty warfare, helping to arm you with the proper defense.  It gets nasty.

23) Weave a seamless blend of fact and fiction

Misconception Strategies

Since no creature can survive without the ability to see or sense what is going on around it, make it hard for your enemies to know what is going on around them, including what you are doing. Feed their expectations, manufacture a reality to match their desires, and they will fool themselves. Control people’s perceptions of reality and you control them.

24) Take the line of least expectation

The Ordinary-Extraordinary Strategy

People expect your behavior to conform to known patterns and conventions. Your task as a strategist is to upset their expectations. First do something ordinary and conventional to fix their image of you, then hit them with the extraordinary. The terror is greater for being so sudden. Sometimes the ordinary is extraordinary because it is unexpected.

Occupy the moral high ground25) Occupy the moral high ground

The Righteous Strategy

In a political world, the cause you are fighting for must seem more than just the enemy’s. By questioning your opponents’ motives and making them appear evil, you can narrow their base of support and room to maneuver. When you find yourself come under moral attack from a clever enemy, do not whine or get angry; fight fire with fire.

Deny them targets26) Deny them targets

The Strategy Of The Void

The feeling of emptiness or void — silence, isolation, non-engagement with others — is for most people intolerable. Give your enemies no target to attack, be dangerous but elusive, then watch as they chase you into the void. Instead of frontal battles, deliver irritating but damaging side attacks and pinprick bites.

27) Seem to work for the interests of others while furthering your own

The Alliance Strategy

The best way to advance your cause with the minimum of effort and bloodshed is to create a constantly shifting network of alliances, getting others to compensate for your deficiencies, do your dirty work, fight your wars. At the same time, you must work to sow dissension in the alliances of others, weakening your enemies by isolating them.

28) Give your rivals enough rope to hang themselves

The One-Upmanship Strategy

Life’s greatest dangers often come not from external enemies but from our supposed colleagues and friend who pretend to work for the common cause while scheming to sabotage us. Work to instill doubts and insecurities in such rivals, getting them to think too much and act defensively. Make them hang themselves through their own self-destructive tendencies, leaving you blameless and clean.

The Fait Accompli Strategy

Overt power grabs and sharp rises to the top are dangerous, creating envy, distrust, and suspicion. Often the best solution is to take small bites, swallow little territories, playing upon people’s relatively short attention spans. Before people realize it, you have accumulated an empire.

Take small bites29) Take small bites

The Fait Accompli Strategy

Overt power grabs and sharp rises to the top are dangerous, creating envy, distrust, and suspicion. Often the best solution is to take small bites, swallow little territories, playing upon people’s relatively short attention spans. Before people realize it, you have accumulated an empire.

30) Penetrate their minds

Communication Strategies

Communication is a kind of war, its field of battle is the resistant and defensive minds of the people you want to influence. The goal is to penetrate their defenses and occupy their minds. Learn to infiltrate your ideas behind enemy lines, sending messages through little details, luring people into coming to the conclusions you desire and into thinking they’ve gotten there by themselves.

31) Destroy from within

The Inner-Front Strategy

By infiltrating your opponents’ ranks, working from within to bring them down, you give them nothing to see or react against — the ultimate advantage. To take something you want, do not fight those who have it, but rather join them — then either slowly make it your own or wait for the moment to stage a coup d’état.

Dominate while seeming to submit32) Dominate while seeming to submit

The Passive-Aggression Strategy

In a world where political considerations are paramount, the most effective form of aggression is the best hidden one: aggression behind a compliant, even loving exterior. To follow the passive-aggression strategy you must seem to go along with people, offering no resistance. But actually you dominate the situation. Just make sure you have disguised your aggression enough that you can deny it exists.

Sow uncertainty and panic through acts of terror33) Sow uncertainty and panic through acts of terror

The Chain-Reaction Strategy

Terror is the ultimate way to paralyze a people’s will to resist and destroy their ability to plan a strategic response. The goal in a terror campaign is not battlefield victory but causing maximum chaos and provoking the other side into desperate overreaction. To plot the most effective counter-strategy, victims of terror must stay balanced. One’s rationality is the last line of defense.

A soldier’s greatest weapon is himself

——> Continue reading 33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life via Business Insider

For additional content related to today’s excerpt, please see Part 5: Unconventional (Dirty) Warfare via Wikipedia.

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Source –

33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life – Business Insider / Military & Defense – By Eloise Lee – Posted May 4, 2012 – http://www.businessinsider.com/33-strategies-of-war-you-should-apply-to-everyday-life-2012-5 – Accessed 7 May 2012 – Business Insider – http://www.businessinsider.com/

based on the book The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene

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Additional Resources –

The 33 Strategies of War – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – page was last modified on 19 April 2012 at 14:42 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_33_Strategies_of_War – Accessed 7 May 2012 – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/

Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part Four)

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Yesterday, I posted part three of this series.  I encourage you to read Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part Three).

From an article in Business Insider entitled “33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life.”

OFFENSIVE WARFARE

The next 11 strategies outline the form of warfare practiced by the most successful captains in history. 

The secret to their success is a blend of strategic cleverness and audacity — it will give all of your attacks much greater force.

Lose battles but end the war 12) Lose Battles But End The War

Grand Strategy

It’s the art of looking beyond the battle and calculating ahead. It requires that you focus on your ultimate goal and plot to reach it. Let others get caught up in the twists and turns of the battle, relishing their little victories. Grand strategy will bring you the ultimate reward: the last laugh.

Know your enemy13) Know your enemy

The Intelligence Strategy

The target of your strategies should be less the army you face than the mind or women who runs it. If you understand how that mind works, you have the key to deceiving and controlling it. Train yourself to read people, picking up the signals they unconsciously send about their innermost thoughts and intentions.

Overwhelm resistance with speed and suddenness14) Overwhelm resistance with speed and suddenness

The Blitzkrieg Strategy

In a world in which many people are indecisive and overly cautious, the use of speed will bring you untold power. Striking first, before your opponents have time to think or prepare, will make them emotional, unbalanced, and prone to error.

15) Control the dynamic

Forcing Strategies

People are constantly struggling to control you. The only way to get the upper hand is to make your play for control more intelligence and insidious. Instead of trying to dominate the other side’s every move, work to define the nature of the relationship itself. Maneuver to control your opponents’ minds, pushing their emotional buttons and compelling them to make mistakes.

16) Hit them where it hurts

The Center-Of-Gravity Strategy

Everyone has a source of power on which he or she depends. When you look at your rivals, search below the surface for that source, the center of gravity that holds the entire structure together. Hitting them there will inflict disproportionate pain. Find what the other side most cherishes and protects — that is where you must strike.

Defeat them in denial17) Defeat them in denial

The Divide-And-Conquer Strategy

Never be intimated by your enemy’s appearance. Instead, look at the parts that make up the whole. By separating the parts, sowing dissension and division, you can bring down even the most formidable foe. When you are facing troubles or enemies, turn a large problem into small, eminently defeatable parts.

18) Expose and attack your opponent’s soft flank

The Turning Strategy

When you attack people directly, you stiffen their resistance and make your task that much harder. There is a better way: Distract your opponents’ attention to the front, then attack them from the side, where they least expect it. Bait people into going out on a limb exposing their weakness, then rake them with fire from the side.

Envelop the enemy19) Envelop the enemy

The Annihilation Strategy

People will use any kind of gap in your defenses to attack you. So offer no gaps. The secret is to envelop your opponents — create relentless pressure on them from all sides and close off their access to the outside world. As you send their weakening resolve, crush their willpower by tightening the noose.

Maneuver them into weakness20) Maneuver them into weakness

The Ripening-For-The-Sickle Strategy

No matter how strong you are, fighting endless battles with people is exhausting, costly, and unimaginative. Wise strategist prefer the art of maneuver: Before the battle even begins, they find ways to put their opponents in positions of such weakness that victory is easy and quick. Create dilemmas: Devise maneuvers that give them a choice of ways to respond — all of them bad.

21) Negotiate while advancing

The Diplomatic-War Strategy

Before and during negotiations, you must keep advancing, creating relentless pressure and compelling the other side to settle on your terms. The more you take, the more you can give back in meaningless concessions. Create a reputation for being tough and uncompromising, so that people are back on their heels before they even meet you.

Know how to end things22) Know how to end things

The Exit Strategy

You are judged in this world by how well you bring things to an end. A messy or incomplete conclusion can reverberate for years to come. The art of ending things well is knowing when to stop. The height of strategic wisdom is to avoid all conflicts and entanglements from which there are no realistic exits.

——> Continue reading 33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life via Business Insider

For additional content related to today’s excerpt, please see Part 4: Offensive Warfare via Wikipedia.

Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part Five), discussing Unconventional (Dirty) Warfare, will be presented on Command Performance Leadership tomorrow, May 10, 2012

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Source –

33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life – Business Insider / Military & Defense – By Eloise Lee – Posted May 4, 2012 – http://www.businessinsider.com/33-strategies-of-war-you-should-apply-to-everyday-life-2012-5 – Accessed 7 May 2012 – Business Insider – http://www.businessinsider.com/

based on the book The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene

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Additional Resources –

The 33 Strategies of War – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – page was last modified on 19 April 2012 at 14:42 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_33_Strategies_of_War – Accessed 7 May 2012 – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/

Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part Three)

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Yesterday, I posted part two of this series.  I encourage you to read Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part Two).

From an article in Business Insider entitled “33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life.”

DEFENSIVE WARFARE

The next four strategies will reveal defensive warfare is the height of strategic wisdom — a powerful style of waging war. 

Get ready to master the arts of deception.

Pick your battles carefully8) Pick your battles carefully

The Perfect-Economy Strategy

We all have limitations — our energies and skills will take us only so far. You must know your limits and pick your battles carefully. Consider the hidden costs of war: time lost, political goodwill squandered, an embittered enemy bent on revenge. Sometimes it is better to wait, to undermine your enemies covertly rather than hitting them straight on.

Turn the tables9) Turn the tables

The Counterattack Strategy

Moving first — initiating the attack — will often put you at a disadvantage: You are exposing your strategy and limiting your options. Instead, discover the power of holding back and letting the other side move first, giving you the flexibility to counterattack from any angle. If your opponents are aggressive, bait them into a rash attack that will leave them in a weak position.

Create a threatening presence10) Create a threatening presence

Deterrence Strategies

The best way to fight off aggressors is to keep them from attacking you in the first place. Build up a reputation: You’re a little crazy. Fighting you is not worth it. Uncertainty is sometimes better than overt threat: If your opponents are never sure what messing with you will cost, they will not want to find out.

Trade space for time11) Trade space for time

The Non-Engagement Strategy

To retreat in the face of a strong enemy is not a sign of weakness but of strength. By resisting the temptation to respond to an aggressor, you buy yourself valuable time — time to recover, to think, to gain perspective. Sometimes you can accomplish most by doing nothing.

——> Continue reading 33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life via Business Insider

For additional content related to today’s excerpt, please see Part 3: Defensive Warfare via Wikipedia.

Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part Four), discussing Offensive Warfare, will be presented on Command Performance Leadership tomorrow, May 10, 2012

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Source –

33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life – Business Insider / Military & Defense – By Eloise Lee – Posted May 4, 2012 – http://www.businessinsider.com/33-strategies-of-war-you-should-apply-to-everyday-life-2012-5 – Accessed 7 May 2012 – Business Insider – http://www.businessinsider.com/

based on the book The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Additional Resources –

The 33 Strategies of War – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – page was last modified on 19 April 2012 at 14:42 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_33_Strategies_of_War – Accessed 7 May 2012 – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/

Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part Two)

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Yesterday, I posted part one of this series.  I encourage you to read Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part One).

From an article in Business Insider entitled “33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life.”

ORGANIZATIONAL (TEAM) WARFARE

The next 3 strategies are about making the most of your team.

Ideas and tactics mean nothing without an organized, responsive, creative, and motivated army. 

Segment your forces

5) Avoid the snares of groupthink

The Command-And-Control Strategy

The problem in leading any group is that people inevitably have their own agendas. You have to create a chain of command in which they do not feel constrained by your influence yet follow your lead. Create a sense of participation, but do not fall into groupthink — the irrationality of collective decision making.

6) Segment your forces

The Controlled-Chaos Strategy

The critical elements in war are speed and adaptability — the ability to move and make decisions faster than the enemy. Break your forces into independent groups that can operate on their own. Make your forces elusive and unstoppable by infusing them with the spirit of the campaign, giving them a mission to accomplish, and then letting them run.

7) Transform your war into a crusade

Morale Strategy

The secret to motivating people and maintaining their morale is to get them to think less about themselves and more about the group. Involve them in a cause, a crusade against a hated enemy. Make them see their survival as tied to the success of the army as a whole.

——> Continue reading 33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life via Business Insider

For additional content related to today’s excerpt, please see Part 2: Organizational (Team) Warfare via Wikipedia.

Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part Three), discussing Defensive Warfare, will be presented on Command Performance Leadership tomorrow, May 9, 2012

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Source –

33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life – Business Insider / Military & Defense – By Eloise Lee – Posted May 4, 2012 – http://www.businessinsider.com/33-strategies-of-war-you-should-apply-to-everyday-life-2012-5 – Accessed 7 May 2012 – Business Insider – http://www.businessinsider.com/

based on the book The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Additional Resources –

The 33 Strategies of War – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – page was last modified on 19 April 2012 at 14:42 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_33_Strategies_of_War – Accessed 7 May 2012 – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/

Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part One)

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , , , on May 7, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

From an article in Business Insider entitled “33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life.”

SELF-DIRECTED WARFARE

The first 4 strategies are all about getting your head in the game.

The mind is the starting point of all war and all strategy…

Declare war on your enemies1) Declare war on your enemies

The Polarity Strategy

Life is endless battle and conflict, and you cannot fight effectively unless you can identify your enemies. Learn to smoke out your enemies, to spot them by the signs and patterns that reveal hostility. Then, once you have them in your sights, inwardly declare war. Your enemies can fill you with purpose and direction.

2) Do not fight the past

The Guerrilla-War-Of-The-Mind Strategy

What most often weighs you down and brings you misery is the past. You must consciously force yourself to react to the present moment. Be ruthless on yourself; do not repeat the same tired methods. Wage guerrilla war on your mind, allowing no static lines of defense — make everything fluid and mobile.

Amidst the turmoil of events, do not lose your presence of mind3) Amidst the turmoil of events, do not lose your presence of mind

The Counterbalance Strategy

In the heat of battle, the mind tends to lose its balance. It is vital to keep you presence of mind, maintaining your mental powers, whatever the circumstances. Make the mind tougher by exposing it to adversity. Learn to detach yourself from the chaos of the battlefield.

Create a sense of urgency and desperation4) Create a sense of urgency and desperation

The Death-Ground Strategy

You are your own worst enemy. You waste previous time dreaming of the future instead of engaging in the present. Cut your ties to the past — enter unknown territory. Place yourself on “death ground”, where your back is against the wall and you have to fight like hell to get out alive.

——> Continue reading 33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life via Business Insider

For additional content related to today’s excerpt, please see Part 1: Self-Directed Warfare via Wikipedia.

Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part Two), discussing Organizational (Team) Warfare, will be presented on Command Performance Leadership tomorrow, May 8, 2012

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Source –

33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life – Business Insider / Military & Defense – By Eloise Lee – Posted May 4, 2012 – http://www.businessinsider.com/33-strategies-of-war-you-should-apply-to-everyday-life-2012-5 – Accessed 7 May 2012 – Business Insider – http://www.businessinsider.com/

based on the book The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Additional Resources –

The 33 Strategies of War – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – page was last modified on 19 April 2012 at 14:42 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_33_Strategies_of_War – Accessed 7 May 2012 – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/

Reading the Professional Soldier

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Highly recommended reading.

Carrying the Gun

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few weeks reading about the professional soldier and some of the issues faced by the US Army in managing the professional force. The number of articles on the topic suggests there is an issue that needs to be addressed.

These are three good articles to read for junior leaders in the force. They raise hard questions.

Afghanistan: A Gathering Menace (The American Scholar) – a journalist’s take on traveling with US soldiers. Is this just bravado or a toxic culture?

Lost in Translation: How the Army has Garbled the Message about the Nature of Its Profession (Military Review) – Are we soldiers or warriors? Does it matter?

Honor, not law (Armed Forces Journal) – especially relevant in light of the Afghanistan massacre. The author argues that it is honor and values that shape battlefield behavior, not law.

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